Skip to content

Breaking Barriers | Harambee’s Quarterly Report | February 2024

Breaking Barriers | Harambee’s Quarterly Report | February 2024

In January 2024, South Africa achieved the highest ever matric pass rate of 82.9% and in April, we will commemorate 30 years of democracy. Both of these milestones are momentous and worthy of celebration but they are also weighed down by some staggering facts: nearly nine million youth are not in education, employment and training (NEETs) and of these NEETs, 53% have not finished matric and have dropped out of the education system entirely. This is potentially a lost generation if we do not actively try and reintegrate it into the economy.

South Africa’s economy, forecasted to grow at 1% in 2024, is still under construction and is still struggling from a series of crises: the 2008 recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a legacy of spatial exclusion. This economy-under-construction disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable: youth, women, and persons with disabilities and (re)building it requires a variety of solutions. One of the most important of these is stimulating job creation and we need to continue deploying a variety of strategies to create pathways to work: strategies Harambee has iterated and seen the promise of over the past 12 years, resulting in 1.2 million work opportunities recorded.

New and wider gates into the jobs of today are also required: ones that assess for potential, not past performance alone. Furthermore, we need safety nets in the form of support mechanisms such as social welfare grants and temporary work opportunities. These are often perceived as safety nets alone, which keep young people from falling out of the economy but, if well deployed, can turn into trampolines which young people can use to spring into other work. Finally, we need to actively build foundations for new jobs and scaffold youth into new opportunities that emerge in the formal and informal sectors.

All information & rights are accredited to, created & written by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, titled “Breaking Barriers | Harambee’s Quarterly Report | February 2024”. For more documents & toolkits by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, please visit